Space-themed brewery launches in Alabaster

ALABASTER – Business owners Daniel Sims and Shane Kelly celebrated the launch of their new ginger-beer brewery, Interstellar Ginger Beer and Exploration Co., at a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 9. According to Sims, Interstellar is the first brewery to open in Shelby County and most likely one of the only breweries to focus solely on ginger beer in the country.

Sims said he decided to partner with Kelly to start Interstellar during a conversation where Kelly was seeking real estate advice.

“He had already started doing things with ginger beer, and he needed a new location. I own a real estate company, and I was kind of helping him out,” Sims said. “I realized what he was wanting to do, and I was totally down with starting a brewery.”

According to Sims, he and Kelly, who holds a PhD in microbiology, chose to give their brewery an outer-space theme because of their mutual love of science and learning new things.

“So often people think that once you’re over 21, your learning is done. Both of us feel that learning is a lifelong thing,” Sims said. “We like to encourage that sense of learning, exploration and adventure.”

Interstellar officially opened its taproom to the public on Sept. 1. The brewery is currently shipping kegs to its distributor and has featured drinks in local restaurants and bars. While Interstellar has been open for less than a month, Sims said he and Kelly are already planning to expand their business.

“We love the taproom and our interaction with the public, but our main source of income is brewing beer and shipping it out wholesale,” Sims said. “Right now, we’re in restaurants and bars, but in six to nine months, we’re looking to be in cans and bottles. We’ll actually be in stores where people can go and buy it.”

The taproom’s cocktail menu features drinks that glow in the dark and drinks inspired by well-known cocktails. Sims said Interstellar’s ginger-beer is a healthy alternative to regular beer, is gluten-free and is vegan.

“You can tell after you drink one of our beers, versus after you drink any sort of beer with a lot of malt or hops in it, you just have a better feeling after you’re done,” Sims said.

So far, Sims said, Interstellar has been popular among the Shelby County community.

“We’ve literally had people come out and tell us ‘thank you’ for opening up and that they’re glad to have a local place to go and get ginger beer,” Sims said.

Sims said he and Kelly chose to set up Interstellar on Regency Park Drive in Alabaster because of the city’s eagerness to help their business start and grow.

“Alabaster has been really good to us. Alabaster and Shelby County have really helped us out when we had any questions or had any needs. It’s been a great experience,” Sims said. “The business environment is just great. Everyone’s been very welcoming and we haven’t had to go through a lot of red tape.”

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said the launch of such a creative new business signifies progress for the city.

“This is the business of a young generation, and it’s going to motivate other millennials. Shelby County is just getting into the brewing industry. It’s an exciting time,” Handlon said. “It’s exciting to see that our young people want to be entrepreneurs. To use your education to live your dream, think out of the box and take a chance is exciting.”

More photos from the Interstellar grand opening are available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.